The Line Remaking Men's Clothing for Women's Bodies

Growing up in South Carolina, Mary Going hated the clothing her parents made her wear. They wanted girly skirts and gowns; she desired anything boyish, settling for saggy shirts and cutoffs.

Every time I had to spruce up, it was like an anxiety attack, Going says. I would wait until the eleventh hour, hate everything I had to wear, and end up using something that felt bad.

When she and Martha wed in 2008, Going understood something needed to alter. She commissioned a custom-made suit, and while costly (it cost more than a month’s lease), she was stunned by how confident she felt in it. For more brands visit

Once she understood it was possible to eliminate her fear of getting dressed, she knew she wanted others to experience that feeling. She took her company school background and began to establish a line of guy’s clothing created for women s bodies. In 2012, she developed a Kickstarter project to introduce Saint Harridan (recovering a term for an "angry and unpleasant woman"), with the goal of producing elegant male’s matches for women and trans guys. The reaction was frustrating: The brand name hit its $87,000 objective in just eight days.

Ever since, the Oakland-based company has grown. Saint Harridan has actually transformed into an online clothing store offering not simply custom suits and shirts, however likewise American-made, ready-to-wear classics like vests and waistcoats. The Saint Harridan folks have become specialists at the tricky task of tweaking manly shapes to fit women s bodies: making armholes smaller sized, discreetly adding more fabric on the sides to accommodate hips, and adding more material to the chest to fit breasts (while avoiding the dreaded boob gap). And although the bulk of its clients are lesbians, Saint Harridan's clothes are likewise popular with other women in addition to trans males; the Saint Harridan store has actually even had cis males roam in, drawn in by the curated collection of shirts, vibrant bow ties, and dopp kits.

While Saint Harridan's clothes simulate standard guy’s styles, Going stated she’s not promoting one specific silhouette. And that objective is resonating well with clients.

Saint Harridan has shoppers from around the world, and Going gets gushing letters from individuals living under strict anti-gay laws: The company s visibility makes them confident that things can alter. Going likewise receives letters from kids like her ladies or genderqueer kids whose parents won’t let them use the clothes they want.

For these customers, Saint Harridan is more than a place to get clothing, and it's about more than shirtsleeves fitting completely; it’s about lastly using clothing developed for your body that likewise reflect how you see yourself. For customers who were when barely tolerated in the male’s  department and wore ill-fitting t-shirts from the kid s area, Saint Harridan is a revelation. On Yelp, one customer wrote: When I was a kid, I used to stare at the Sears catalog men's area. It was simply a dream. This location makes that dream become a reality.

Going discusses that her clients "had never ever been the expected consumer somewhere else. Yes, tolerated I've been to Nordstrom and been treated well. To be expected? That's an entire other level of validation.

When she started the company, Going thought it might be unimportant to focus on style at the cost of other LGBTQ problems. After seeing the impact clothing have actually made on her and her consumers, she’s convinced of their importance.

Plus, when people are more noticeable with their clothes options and gender expression, it requires the remainder of the world to accept what Going currently sees, which is that there's this phony story out there: Men are like this, and women are like this. The more I'm out there dressed like a man, the more apparent it is that none of that is real.